Toyota Stops Operations In French And UK Plants Due To Border Closures

Covid-19 continues to have an impact on the entire automotive industry as new border closures are put into place. This has prompted Toyota to cease operations in both their French and British plants, starting the usual seasonal shutdown earlier than in previous years. Border closures are also affecting the importation of parts and accessories like tyres, engines, and car batteries. This could potentially have an effect on the prices of cars, car accessories, and car batteries for sale in the near future.

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Toyota’s Deeside plant in North Wales and the Burnaston factory in Derbyshire together employ around 3,000 people in total. The border closures have also caused transport delays, which means that factories have been experiencing a shortage of various vehicle parts and accessories. The longer the border closures, the bigger the impact on logistics activities.

Both factories normally close on Christmas Eve and reopen after New Year’s Day. Instead, the plant in France was closed two days earlier, and the plant in Britain a day earlier. Toyota says that this move aims to protect its employees and logistics partners as fear over the new strain of coronavirus grows.

Aside from France, other countries that have imposed border closures and suspended flights and freight shipping to and from their territories include Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Canada and Turkey.

Challenges Faced By The Auto Industry

Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the automotive industry. This is not surprising, given the restrictions on movement imposed on a global scale.

In October last year, the UK produced approximately 135,000 vehicles. But this year, that number for the month fell by 18%, with only 110,000 cars produced.

Adding to manufacturers’ challenges has been the uncertainties brought about by Brexit. Although a deal has now been reached between the European Union and the UK, carmakers and buyers alike have been under the threat of an additional 10% tariff being added to the price of cars from 1 January. Not only might this have potentially affected sales within the UK for next year, it would also have impacted on the price of imported cars.

This uncertainty hasn’t just surrounded car sales, either. The automotive industry covers an entire supply chain, with parts, accessories, and car batteries for sale also potentially affected.

And yet another challenge that raises pressure within the industry is the UK’s long-term plans for a green industrial revolution, with the ban on new diesel and petrol cars by 2040.

This goal aims to decrease carbon emissions in the country. A 10-point plan has been drawn up by the government, with a £12 billion budget set aside for the transition. Planes and ships are also expected to create zero emissions by then too.

Although many people believe that these plans are too ambitious even in the given timescale, the UK government shows no signs of backing down, and the industry has started looking into potential ways to adapt. In the meantime, though, petrol and diesel car owners can rest assured that the sale of engine-specific parts, such as car batteries, will continue for the foreseeable future.

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Published at: 06-01-2021